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Army vet opens fire at VA hospital, injures doctor

West Palm Beach VA Medical Center (Veterans Health/Flickr)
March 01, 2019

A shooting took place Wednesday night at a VA hospital in Florida, leaving a doctor injured at the hands of a veteran.

The shooter, 59-year-old Larry Bon who is confined to a wheelchair as a double amputee, opened fire on hospital employees, wounding a doctor who tried to subdue him, according to Military.com.

The doctor’s wound to the neck was not life-threatening and he has since been released from St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

Mary Kay Rutan, a medical center spokeswoman, said, “The wounded doctor has been released from the hospital and is doing well. We thank him for his efforts to subdue the suspect.”

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The scene unfolded at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center in Riviera Beach, Florida.

Bon arrived at the medical center around 8:30 a.m. on the day of the shooting, and staff said that he had been rather aggressive for most of the day.

Around 6:30 p.m., Bon was taken for a psychiatric examination at which time he pulled his firearm and began spraying bullets around the hospital emergency room.

How Bon concealed the gun is not yet known.

FBI Special Agent Justin Fleck said, “In between shots, a doctor saw an opportunity to jump on the subject and disarmed him. And while doing that, sustained a gunshot wound to his neck — so pretty heroic.”

Donna Katen-Bahensky, director of the medical center, said, “An incident has occurred this evening at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center. There is no danger to patients or staff at this time, and the area has been secured. We are working with local law enforcement, and the investigation remains ongoing.”

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The AMVETS veterans service organization released a statement that said it is imperative that “the veteran’s reasons for his actions are uncovered immediately.”

“The reasoning behind why this veteran committed this heinous act is vital to preventing events like this from happening again,” AMVETS added.

Rutan said, “The West Palm Beach VA medical center continuously conducts safety training and exercises to help ensure appropriate responses to active threat situations, and that training was put to great use yesterday. Security measures at the West Palm Beach VAMC are consistent with health care industry standards.”

Bon was arrested and remains in police custody.